A secret, we all keep it a secret; to protect a family, to protect ourselves, to hide our shame. I remember telling one person when I was six. We had got wet from the snow, in the school yard and we were sent in to the classroom, to put on the dry clothes the teacher kept for just this occasion. I don’t remember exactly what I said to her, my play ground friend, but I will forever remember the look on her face. I didn’t tell anyone else for twelve more years.
My abuser was eventually arrested. He decided to come clean to a counselor, which is the bit of credit I give him and probably the only reason I can teeter totter back and forth with forgiveness (I know! that word again!!). When the arrest occurred I very slowly began to come out more and more, with the facts of my abuse.
Talking about “it” was and is still interesting, rape, molestation, pedophilia….. Let’s sit down and have a cup of coffee and talk about those subjects! It’s a little different than sharing golf scores or recipes! 🙂 The positives were that several times when I talked about “it”, someone would say to me, “Something similar happened to me too.” It was eye opening. It’s not just me! It’s not just my family affected! You can google statistics and probably already have; It’s not just you, it’s us..
I need to share this story with you because some of you may identify with it. I was in a Homemakers group sponsored by an Extension Office. If you aren’t familiar with them, they are, or at least were popular in rural areas, I think as a resource for wives to exchange ideas and have a chance for a social life. We often had speakers who showed us a craft idea, how to bake something, or to maybe speak about growing a garden or planning a flower bed. I was the youngest in the group, with many of the members, in their fifties. One day we were discussing possible subjects for the coming year, speakers we could invite, and/or talents we could share. I suggested we have a speaker talk to us about the affect and statistics of sexual abuse. I laugh now, because you could of heard a pin drop. I looked at them and the subject was changed, and the conversation went on. Looking back, I recall the look on their faces; some had the “what in the heck are you thinking look”, but there were a couple whose eyes showed fear. I was not going to open the lid on that box. I won’t open the lid on your box, it’s yours….but it’s not your fault.